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Long live the pocket-book!

I was taking notes in my notebook this weekend when I realized it had a pocket in the back. It reminded me of the centuries-old tradition of books as containers. Unlike e-books that keep things out, books are things that hold things (notes, eye-glasses, dried plants, records, even flies for …

The Art of Broken

Over the past decade or so, a number of artists have been experimenting with the art of book demolition. As Garrett Stewart suggests in his definitive handbook of the movement, Bookwork, such practices of undoing books are akin to what he calls “demediation” — taking books out of their functional …

The Digital Book Has No Cover

My title comes from a quote from The Atlantic on the crisis in book design in an ebook world. Covers obviously cover something, so when there is no bounded space to cover, well, then the visual cues of the book are thrown way, way off. On the one hand, ebooks …

You are being counted

“You very rarely get a glimpse into the reader’s mind,” David Levithan of Scholastic Books says. “With a printed book, there’s no such thing as an analytic. You can’t tell which pages are dog-eared.” A new piece at the Wall Street Journal by Alexandra Alter about how publishers are finally getting …

Death Watch

A bit macabre, I know. But here begins a new category looking at the ways we talk about the death of books and other kinds of media. Its part voyeurism, part debunking of the hyperbole surrounding reading. The first exhibit belongs to Laura Miller’s recent piece in Salon, “Click here …